Can we even begin to imagine what the 3 woman (that were held in captivity in a run-down house in Cleveland, Ohio) were feeling that moment they found freedom after 10 plus years of living in bondage and fear to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse?
My mind cannot wrap around the thought of what it would be like to be a made a prisoner at the hand’s of another for ten plus years. Did they have moments where they found some peace, some humor, some strength and hope? I hope so. My prayers are with these women as they begin the long road of healing and finding renewal of their life once again.
Imagine living for ten years and finding very little hope that things would change anytime soon. There are a lot of people walking the streets, living in our neighborhood, working in our office, or even sitting next to us in church that ask every day, are things ever going to change for my life? Is there ever going to be a day that I feel that I have broken free from the chains of bondage in my life?
The answer from scripture is a resounding “Yes!”
Yes, there is freedom from the bondage of sins and the regrets of yesterday found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
After the ascension of Jesus, the disciples were still lurking behind locked doors and trying to digest all of what had occurred with the death and resurrection of Jesus along with feelings of their betrayal and rejection, when all of a sudden “there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:2-4 NRSV).
The Holy Spirit awakened to new life a group of men and women that prior to this were unsure and afraid of what might happen to them, and after the arrival of the Holy Spirit, there was no longer fear but a burning passion and desire to spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. These disciples were transformed and they transformed the world as they brought into the world the church of Jesus Christ, the active Body-of-Christ living in the world to share the love and grace of God.
May these words from the prophet Isaiah echo our call out in the world to free others from the bondages of the world. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring the good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:1-2 NRSV).
Christ is All,